State Sen. Jamie B. Raskin and Kathleen Matthews continue to collect endorsements in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District Democratic primary. Matthews is drawing many of hers from senior Democrats on Capitol Hill, while Raskin is securing his from key party constituencies in Montgomery County.
Another candidate, Joel Rubin, scored support from a big Hollywood name. Hint: “Greed is good.”
Four top members of the House Democratic Caucus stepped up on Monday for Matthews, the former WJLA-TV news anchor and Marriott International executive: Reps. Don Beyer (Va.), Joseph Crowley (N.Y.), Steve Israel (N.Y.) and John B. Larson (Conn.). Beyer is the incoming finance chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Crowley is caucus vice chair; and Larson is a former caucus chair.
“Watching Kathleen for many years when she was a journalist, I know she understands the issues facing voters in the 8th District because she was out there every day talking to people and digging for answers,” Beyer said in a statement.
The endorsements lengthen the list of Democratic congressional incumbents lined up with Matthews, among them Sens. Edward J. Markey (Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (Calif.) and Reps. Debbie Dingell (Minn.) and Anna G. Eshoo (Calif.). In Maryland, Matthews has been endorsed by Comptroller Peter Franchot and former Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan.
Raskin was endorsed this past week by the African American Democratic Club of Montgomery County (AADCMC) and the 8,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1994 MCGEO, which represents about 5,000 Montgomery government employees.
AADCMC President Laurie-Anne Sayles praised Raskin’s record of advocacy for progressive legislation, including an assault weapons ban, abolition of the death penalty and decriminalization of marijuana.
Raskin, whose Silver Spring-Takoma Park district is majority African American and Latino, told the group in a candidate questionnaire that if elected he would propose a national commission and comprehensive legislative strategy “to liberate the American underclass from the interlocking problems” of poor schools and health care, unemployment, mass incarceration and economic exploitation.
He said he would seek major figures on the American left to co-chair the commission, such as civil rights icon and Algebra Project founder Robert Moses, former labor secretary Robert Reich, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).
Raskin was selected over Will Jawando, the only African American in the nine-candidate field and a member of the AADCMC board.
Jawando said Friday that the group’s vote “wasn’t representative of the membership of the club or the African American community.” Many members, he said, were not aware that they could vote by proxy, as many Raskin supporters apparently did.
Sayles said the voting process was completely transparent and that everyone knew the rules.
“Some people had better strategy than others,” Sayles said.
Jawando has won endorsements from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, former education secretary Arne Duncan, former NAACP director Benjamin Jealous and Montgomery County Council member Craig Rice (D-Upcounty).
MCGEO’s support adds to Raskin’s roster of labor endorsements, including the National Education Association, UFCW Local 400, and the Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
“We are excited to be supporting his campaign and will be using our local strength to get out a big vote on April 26th,” MCGEO President Gino Renne said in a statement.
Raskin also has support from numerous Democratic elected officials, among them Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, Rep. John Sarbanes (Md.) and state Sens. Richard S. Madaleno (Montgomery), Susan C. Lee (Montgomery), Karen S. Montgomery (Montgomery) and Ronald N. Young (Frederick).
Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for House affairs, who worked to help secure congressional approval of the Iran nuclear deal, has been endorsed by actor Michael Douglas. He has long been active in disarmament and nonproliferation issues. Rubin also has the support of the Council for a Livable World, an advocacy group that backs candidates with progressive outlooks on foreign policy.
Other candidates with endorsements are Maryland Del. Kumar P. Barve (Montgomery), who is supported by the UNITE HERE International Union, House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), Majority Leader Anne R. Kaiser (D-Montgomery) and 20 other members of Maryland’s House of Delegates.
Del. Ana Sol-Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) has been endorsed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and CASA in Action, the political arm of CASA of Maryland, the immigrant advocacy and assistance group.